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Two-Factor Authentication – Is it Necessary?
“Your authorisation code is 265435. This code will expire in 10 minutes.”
We’re all familiar with these types of messages. We may have even received one today. Whether it’s a fingerprint scan, a code, or a phone call, we’re often asked to confirm our identity. Whether we like it or not… It’s becoming a part of life in the digital world.
With the increasing number of online transactions and data breaches, it’s important to take steps to protect our online accounts from hackers who might try to access them without permission. Two-factor authentication (2FA) can be an effective and easy way to protect our online accounts and personal data. In this article, we’ll discuss what 2FA is, why it’s important, and whether it’s necessary.
What is Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)?
Simply put, 2FA is an extra layer of security that requires users to provide two forms of identification before accessing an account. Typically, these two forms of identification are something the user knows, like a password, and something the user has, like a smartphone or a security token. By requiring two forms of identification, 2FA significantly reduces the chances of a hacker gaining access to an account, even if they have obtained the user’s password.
One of the reasons that we are so familiar with 2FA is that many online service providers have already made 2FA mandatory for their users. For example, online banking, email providers, and social media platforms all offer 2FA as an option to their users.
Why is 2FA Important?
We can no longer rely on a password alone to protect our precious online accounts from potential malicious threats. Even complex passwords that meet all the recommended requirements can be easily cracked or stolen through phishing attacks or data breaches. And, safe as to say that, re-used passwords or simple phrases like ‘password’ or ‘qwerty’ can be like taking like taking candy from a baby to hackers! This is where 2FA comes to the rescue. Even if you have unfortunately had your password compromised, then the hacker would still need something that belonged to you or that confirmed your identity to gain access into your account, giving you the peace of mind that your information is safe.
2FA is especially important for businesses that handle sensitive information. A data breach can have devastating consequences for a business, including financial loss, loss of customer trust, and even legal consequences. By implementing 2FA, your business can significantly reduce the risk of a data breach and protect your sensitive information.
Is Two-Factor Authentication Necessary?
While 2FA is not completely foolproof, it certainly makes it much harder for hackers to gain access to an account. For this reason, it is highly recommended to enable 2FA on your online accounts. There are many websites and apps that offer 2FA, it only takes a few minutes to set up and these can speed up the authentication process. You will typically need to download an app like Google Authenticator, Authy, or LastPass Authenticator to generate a code that you will need to enter when you log in.
Even if you have to spend a bit of extra time in the log in process, it is worth the investment to keep your data secure. It is also important to note that 2FA is not a replacement for a strong password. Make sure you still use a unique, strong password for each of your online accounts. A strong password combined with the extra layer of security that 2FA provides can make it much harder for hackers to gain access to your accounts.
If you haven’t already, we recommend enabling 2FA on all your online accounts. It’s a quick and easy way to make your accounts more secure. If you own a business then then enabling 2FA is even more important to not only protect your own data but also your customers. At NT Voice & Data, we are happy to provide advice on security measures and services to protect yourself and your business. We have experience working in a range of different business and organisations from estate agents to hospitals and many more. Click here to contact us today, or call 01623 687750.